Caught By Japanese Recce Planes Near Kuala Lumpur, Malaya

Near Kuala Lumpar: Caught by Recce Planes

Caught By Japanese Recce Planes Near Kuala Lumpur, Malaya

‘Landed in Singapore – November 1941, and went straight up north, north of K.L.

We were part of the Indian 9th Div. but supported Australian infantry a fair number of times, particularly at the Lim River in Malaya.

Taken prisoner – 15th February 1942 in Singapore.’

Source: Des Bettany hand written note

“Thanks to their control of the skies, the Japanese were able to project the battlefront beyond their foremost troops, strafing and bombing the roads to harass and delay troop movements. The Japanese planes frequently caught civilians, exposed and defenseless on the roads, and strafed them mercilessly with machine – gun fire, ‘like a lawnmower cutting down grass’.”

Source: The Long Road To Changi, Ewer Peter, 2013, pg 163

“In all of Malaya, of all types – Tiger Moths, antiquated bombers, inferior fighters – there were only 141 aircraft, none of them, by Japanese standards, first line.”
(General Percival’s Report on the Malayan Campaign)
Source: The Naked Island by Russell Braddon; 1955 edition Pan Books Ltd, Pg 285

January 8th  1942 – Japaneses troops penetrate the outer lines of defense at Kuala Lumpur, Malaya

‘We weren’t exactly told that our aircraft in Malaya and Singapore weer obsolescent, inadequate and no match for the Japs, but it became obvious very soon. And while those responsible for that state of affairs are, no doubt, smugly drawing retirement pensions, we are stuck with the consequences of their unbelievable incompetence. We take this very personally; we do not accept that it was unavoidable but are in fact convinced that it need not have happened. There was too much complacent political fooling around and refusal to look at facts, too much wishful thinking instead of determined resolve in the years before the war. And too much irresolution and plain disastrous strategy after it began.’
Source: One Fourteenth of an Elephant, by Ian Denys Peek, 2005, Pg 426

Extracts from One Fourteenth of an Elephant by Ian Denys Peek reprinted by permission of Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd. Copyright © Ian Denys Peek 2003

It has been well documented that the politians at the time were ill prepared. In Singapore there were only 90 first line planes, non of these fighter planes – 2 squandrons of these were fabric covered bi-planes nick named ‘the flying coffin’ (Vildebeests).